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Smithsonian Launches Effort to Save 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers

FILE - Dorothy's ruby slippers from"The Wizard of Oz" are seen on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2012.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to preserve the ruby slippers from the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz."

The museum hopes to raise $300,000 in a month.

The slippers, which for more than 30 years have been one of the most beloved items at the museum, were crafted almost 80 years ago by the MGM Studios prop department. Like most movie props, they weren't built to last.

Now the museum wants to polish the dulled sequins, clean up the loose threads and create a state-of-the-art display case to preserve the shoes for decades to come.

The Smithsonian's museums are federally funded, but the institution frequently solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects that its budget doesn't cover.

This is the Smithsonian's second Kickstarter campaign.

In 2015, the National Air and Space Museum looked to the crowdfunding site to preserve the spacesuit that astronaut Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon. It reached its $500,000 goal in five days, and eventually raised $719,779 from 9,477 supporters, according to Kickstarter.

The #KeepThemRuby campaign is off to a similarly fast start, raising more than $100,000 in its first two days.